Triple world MX2 champ Jeffrey Herlings finally showed the type of form everyone knows he’s capable of by romping to a double MXGP win in the sand of Latvia. The Dutchman, who topped the qualifying race on Saturday, took control of both motos after a very short time and was unchallenged as he took victory. It’s massive turn-around for the man who started the season with an arm injury and in disappointing form, and comes just one race after he took his first MXGP podium finish in Valkenswaard.
But the real drama unfolded behind him as world champ and series leader Tim Gajser crashed in both races and lost the red plate to arch rival Tony Cairoli, who took second overall.
Gajser was torpedoed out of the first moto by a wayward Jose Butron. Holding his leg in pain, the Slovenian remounted and came back through to 14th, which meant he maintained his series lead over Cairoli. Cairoli had a bad start and could only manage fifth, right behind Brit Shaun Simpson. Clement Desalle took second from Evgeny Bobryshev.
But things really went wrong in moto two for Gajser who crashed hard out of second place, with Cairoli right on his heels. Gajser looked hurt and didn’t continue. It’s believed he’s not seriously injured but he was sent for medical checks.
Cairoli took second place behind Herlings, inherited the red plate and now leads Gajser by 17 points after seven rounds.
It was a great race for Suzuki’s Armenas Jasikonis who took third in the moto after leading for the first four laps.
There was disaster for Simpson in race two as he went out towards the end of the race while in the top 10. He crashed into a fence post and broke his hand.
Max Anstie marked his comeback to action after a month off due to injury with a fine sixth overall, thanks to ninth and sixth place finishes. Fellow Brit Ryan Houghton had 26th and 29th place finishes.